Disastrous fire leaves Notre Dame in ruins

By Diego V.

In a devastating fire, world famous cathedral Notre Dame was badly damaged and had it’s roof burned off. Investigators still don’t know the cause of the fire but have come down to a few likely possibilities.

The first likely reason that the police have been focused on is that the fire was caused by a spark from the electrified bells. The architect in charge of Notre Dame until 2013 warned against using lights in the beams because these was a risk of fire. However, the bells at the top of the spire were electrified either way in two stages in 2012 and 2007. These bells were among the things destroyed in the fire. “That the fire started in the bells — that is pertinent, and plausible,” said Régis Singer, a bells specialist at the Ministry of Culture.

Another possibility of how the fire started is from cigarettes. Spokesman for the scaffolding firm working on the cathedral, Le Bras Frères, said that even though workers sometimes smoked on the job, cigarettes did not start the fire. He said that, “We condemn it. But the fire started inside the building… so for company Le Bras this is not a hypothesis, it was not a cigarette butt that set Notre-Dame de Paris on fire.” The Canard Enchaine reported that there were seven cigarette butts found in the cathedral’s remains. However, the spokesman Marc Eskenazi said that “If cigarette butts have survived the inferno, I do not know what material they were made of.”

While investigators don’t know what caused the fire, they know how it spread. The fire started in the attic, a place that was rarely visited and where people wouldn’t have noticed the fire. Officials confirmed the source of the fire was near the spire, so it could have been either an electrical problem or a cigarette. The attic had many wooden beams which were easily flammable. No one noticed the fire after the first fire alarm, but after the second, the fire moved across the beams. Investigators state that if the cathedral had other basic fire-safety measures, like a sprinkler system or fire resistant walls, the fire could have been slowed or contained, but the authorities decided against it, and eventually, the roof and spire collapsed. Another possible cause of the fire could be that the bells had an electrical problem that could have had a spark that ignited the fire. In 2012 the main architect for the cathedral warned against using electrical bells because the wood was easily flammable. However, they electrified it either way

Authorities still don’t know the cause of the fire, but they are still looking and are pretty close to finding one.


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